The Story of Four Villages
There was a mountain. There were four villages around the mountain - Ramapura, Bharatapura, Lavapura and Kushapura. None of the villages were connected to each other. The people in the villages did not know each other.
Every time the people of each village looked at the mountain, they could see a big white flag. They thought it's the representation of their village and there must be a message for the villagers. On one fine day, four boys from each village wanted to go close and know the details of that flag.
However, they were not aware that boys from other villages are doing the same. As it was going to take long way to reach the peak, so they packed food for afternoon lunch and set out for climbing the mountain.
By the time they reached the mountain peak and were just little bit behind from the flag, they were all really tired, so wanted to eat lunch and have a small nap. Surprisingly, all the boys from all the villages met in one point. Boys of four villages exchanged their reasons to climb the mountain. Interestingly, all of them had the same goal to find about the white flag.
As soon as all the boys go close to the flag, they read a message for all the villagers. "This white flag is the symbol of brotherhood of people of four village, once a while people should come here and spend time together to celebrate New Year".
Reading this message made all the boys very happy and started coming together annually.
See the example here - one mountain, four villages, four paths leading to one goal towards flag. Ramapura had a path of stones and jerky way, Bharatapura had bushy and thorn full plants, Lavapura had high trees and clear path and Kushapura had slippery path. All the paths lead to the peak and to the flag. There may be differences in the nature of path, but all of them lead to the same goal.
Bhagavad Gita has the shlokas explaining four streams or paths in our life to reach the goal, liberation from the bondage. These four paths are:
- Jnana Yoga (The path of knowledge)
- Karma Yoga (The path of action)
- Bhakti Yoga (The path of emotion culture)
- Raja Yoga (The path of will power)
To achieve the goals these four paths were followed by different persons.
- Jnana Yoga - Adi Shankaracharya
- Karma Yoga - Lord Sri Krishna
- Bhakti Yoga - Meera and Lord Hanuman
- Raja Yoga - Maharshi Patanjali